One of the public policies that earned New York governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio praise during New York’s peak Covid-19 period was the emergency Covid shelter program, where the homeless were allowed to stay in the empty hotel rooms.
However, as the situation came under control, Mayor DeBlasio just announced days ago that he was looking to end the program. Contrary to his words, citizens witnessed dozens of homeless moved to a boutique hotel in Brooklyn via school buses.
With their belongings put in trash bags, some 40 homeless people were moved to Hotel Indigo – a highly rated hotel in NYC. On the hotel doors, an announcement read that the facility was not open to the public’s reservation and asked potential guests to check-in at the Sheraton.
When a New York Post reporter asked a NYPD officer on the spot, the officer confirmed that the Indigo was being set up as a men’s shelter for the homeless. Volunteers carrying boxes full of supplies, including computers, were seen by the said reporter and other citizens.
Residents who reside near the hotel seemed conflicted and concerned about their neighborhood. Their worries were compounded by the fact that Hotel Aloft, located right next to the Indigo, was already designated as a shelter just 3 weeks ago.
A designer who lives in a high-end building near the hotels said that it wasn’t the fact that the homeless were moving in that made him uncomfortable, but their overall hygiene. A mother said she no longer felt safe to take walks near the hotels, which used to be a nice, calm part of the city.
She elaborated by saying that the nearby parks now have empty bottles of alcohol lying around – a sight that only became common after the vagrants began to move into the hotels.
Other residents more or less seemed to be in the agreement. They commented on the smaller things such as increased garbage to much more dangerous tendencies such as a skyrocketing instance of shootings.
NYC officials demurred when asked about the new shelters, saying that the overall number of hotels being used as centers has not increased. They added that the measures are strictly temporary.
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